Universities to translate Firefox into African language

KAMPALA, UGANDA – Makerere University of Uganda and Rhodes University of South Africa are collaborating to translate Mozilla’s Firefox Internet browser into Luganda, Uganda’s most widely spoken language.

The schools have organized a two-day translation marathon at Makerere University for Thursday and Friday. The workshop will bring together software gurus from Uganda and South Africa, as well as top Luganda linguists.

The aim of translating Firefox into the Luganda is to make it more accessible to non-English speaking Ugandans, said Deborah Namirembe, communications officer of Makerere’s Computing & Information Technology Faculty.

Africa’s academic community has emphasized the importance of issuing local content and language support in order to reach the rural population, given that the continent is home to hundreds of languages.

If successful, this most recent effort will result in the first computer program to be translated into Luganda.

The browser has already been translated into six of South Africa’s 11 official languages — Xhosa, Zulu, Venda, Northern Sotho, Siswati and Tswana.

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